Councilmember David Ryu, Chair of the City Council’s Health, Education and Neighborhood Councils Committee submitted proposed reforms for the Neighborhood Council system in City Council today based on feedback he received in a survey he sent out to Neighborhood Council board members.
The proposals include:
  • Amending City Charter to change the name of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) to the Neighborhood Councils Department (NCD), the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC) to the Neighborhood Councils Commission (NCC), and phasing out the use of the term/branding “EmpowerLA”.
  • Amending the L.A. Admin. Code to remove the “Community Impact Stakeholder” and recommendations for including specific additional definitions by ordinance of eligible voters and board members of Neighborhood Councils.
  • Amending City Charter to remove any reference to “selection” and clarify that Neighborhood Council board members will be elected.
  • Creating a one-time review process, overseen by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners to evaluate Neighborhood Council bylaws to determine if board seats are equitably allocated amongst stakeholder types
  • Recommendations for adopting regulations to provide a uniform minimum voting age and board member age to allow consistent participation across the City.
  • Recommendation for developing and adopting a planning and land use training required for all Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Neighborhood Council planning and land use committees.
  • Recommendations on a process to allow NC’s to roll-over a non-cumulative maximum of $10,000 in any given fiscal year.
  • Recommendation removing Section 5.485.h of Chapter 88 of Division 5 of the LA Municipal Code in order to remove the expiration of the ability for NCs to accept in-kind or monetary donations.
  • Report on the costs of holding all Neighborhood Council elections on the same day in order to provide for a uniform citywide advertising and outreach campaign.
  • Develop a process, with the assistance of GSD and the City Clerk, to assist Neighborhood Councils with accessing shared space in City facilities, as envisioned in Council File 16-0298
  • Develop an ongoing compendium of best practices generated from Neighborhood Councils and share those on a periodic basis with all Neighborhood Councils and include “how-to guides” for accomplishing those best practices
  • Develop point of contact lists for key city departments and agencies, including DCP, DOT, Public Works’ Bureaus, Aging, Disability, HCID, DCA, LADWP, Port, Airport, Cannabis Regulation, Emergency Management, Animal Services, LAPD, LAFD, Recreation and Parks, Zoo, Finance, Library, Economic and Workforce Development and BIDS, with assistance from the departments and agencies, and share those lists with Neighborhood Councils, facilitate the training of those points of contact at those relevant departments on the most fruitful ways to assist and communicate with Neighborhood Council members, and coordinate with Neighborhood Councils to formally appoint a point of contact at each NC to communicate between each NC and the point of contact at each department, thus creating a single line of communication.

Councilmember Ryu has asked for reports back on these issues from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Office of the City Clerk within 60 days.  He is also requesting Neighborhood Councils and Neighborhood Council Alliances to provide feedback and /or Community Impact Statements (CISs) to the Health, Education and Neighborhood  Councils Committee within 90 days under Council File 18-0467.

Click here to see the motion.